Cruisers & Sailing Forums (
-   Cruising News & Events (
-   -   We Are Getting Started (

clausont 26-06-2007 03:42

We Are Getting Started
I started out looking for a "project boat". I found a number of them. Some were reasonable projects, but would have cost too much for what they were worth by the time transporting them was figured in or they were just too far gone.
Well, we decided to go ahead and buy one that was pretty much ready to go and so are buying an older Cal 29 (as someone in this forum said, "Aren't all boats 'projects?'"). It is essentially ready to go with the exception of general maintenance due an older boat. (Wow, reasonably good sails, an engine that runs, roller furling, decent shape...) Since it is on the hard I will want to consider a barrier coat and of course new bottom paint. It currently is derigged so now will be the time to do any maintenance on the mast and rigging and check the mast wiring, etc. It seems that now would be a good time to consider new hull and deck paint also.
This boat is basically an interim boat that we will use for daysailing and perhaps short coastal hops so that we can gain more experience and determine more accurately what our needs in a cruising boat will be. It really is very marginal in size for our family, but we are not intending on using it for extended blue water cruising.
I appreciate all helpful suggestions, thoughts and comments.
BTW - I hope that this is the right area for this thread.

SkiprJohn 26-06-2007 12:35

Congratulations!! You might even make such wonderful improvements that you decide not to get another boat.
Check for rust spots around the chainplates wherever you can see them.
Several Cal 29s have sailed over here from the West Coast so they are good sound hulls. Some have limped in with rudder problems. Check the rudder very thoroughly.
When you are going through all your improvements check the bulkhead to hull tabbing for signs of pulling free. Sometimes in an older boat it is a consideration.
I've sailed on the 2-30 but not the 29.
Kind Regards,

clausont 26-06-2007 12:51

Thanks for this info John, that is the kind of information that I am looking for. I will check those items and I appreciate any further information that anyone has. Glad to hear that they are a good sound hull.
I suspect that we will eventually get another boat as a 29' boat of any description will probably be too small when we have our 5 kids aboard :) Short hops and daysails will probably be fine, but not much room for so many.


Pblais 26-06-2007 14:09

Getting a less expensive boat now to get started with seems like a financially great idea. Lots of sailing seems just the perfect decision.

Ex-Calif 26-06-2007 16:53

My experience is exactly to your plan and John's advice.

Through Hulls and hoses - #1 priority - This can sink the boat.
Chain plates, deck fittings, cleats, winches - All secure, tight and corrosion free.
Standing Rigging - corrosion free and rigged per spec.
Running rigging - Do one? Then do them all if you suspect they are of the same vintage.
Engine - Service it and get at least a spare impeller to keep on-board.

If we had done these things we have had zero failures and frustrations in the first 2 months of ownership. As it was we chased problems for quite a while and fixing them on the water was more difficult than when it was on the hard.

You will be a lot happier knowing that you can pull on all the lines and basically not break anything. It is scary as hell when a shroud lets lose.

clausont 01-07-2007 21:06

Well, its all official now. We signed the papers on the boat today. In about 2 weeks I will transport it to my home and get started on the work. I hope nobody minds if I ask lots of questions about maintenance items and all.
Turns out that the boat is perhaps not as basic as I thought at first.
It has a diesel engine (I do not know what kind yet), roller furling, auto pilot, depth finder, knot meter, vhf, 3 burner alcohol stove with oven, and a few other minor accessories.
Now I am anxious about getting started on it. But first I need to complete the bunks for my trailer for it. (Not really a trailerable boat - but trailer storage in the winter is alot cheaper than the marina) :)

CSY Man 01-07-2007 22:14

If you are not going to keep the boat, don't pump too much money into it..

(Ref. My first boat: I bought it for 30K, put 30K into it, then sold it for 30K)


Read the above carefully once more...

If ya are going to keep the boat for many years, by all means, make her safe and sound regardless of cost.

If you are just learning, then selling, do the very basic and safety stuff.

clausont 02-07-2007 05:06

Excellent advice CSY Man. That is exactly what I intend to do. I hope to put more effort than $ into it. But I will not skimp on the safety stuff either.

clausont 19-07-2007 04:48

Well, we have our boat home now. We are quite excited. Needs some general maintenance, but so far all systems check out quite well.
I uploaded a few pictures of it in the photo gallery.
Bringing the boat home:
We fired the engine yesterday:
Now to do the bottom and the rigging and some other minor maintenance.

clausont 23-07-2007 18:22

Interesting Problem
Found an interesting problem that will take some digging to sort out.
I turned off the Perko switch and hit the starter button and the engine started to turn over, but slowly for lack of adequate current. I turned the Perko to "all" and hit the button and the engine fired immediately.
It appears that I have a problem in the electrical system that will require a disassembly of the switch panel and battery connections. Some of the switches on the panel are corroded also so it appears that I should replace the power panel or at least the switches and the fuses. The fuses I will replace with breakers.
Any thoughts on this that I might be overlooking before I dig into this one?

Pblais 23-07-2007 18:39

Sounds like something trashed your starting battery. I would check out what was wired to what battery. It may be a starting battery gone bad or a charging system that over charged the starting battery. The all switch combines all battery banks when you lose the starting battery so you can start the engine with everything you have. leaving it in the all position would cause that as well. I think it may be some persons idea of a bad wiring solution from the past. I wouldn't replace anything until you can really trace out what you have.

clausont 23-07-2007 18:51

Good thought about not replacing anything yet. What confused me most was that the engine would turn over with the switch in the "off" position. I think you may have something with "some persons idea of a bad wiring solution from the past". The starting batteries being bad would not surprise me at all. They are dated "Jan 00" and had sat completely dead for who knows how long. I had planned to replace them first thing but decided to hook up a charger to them first just to see if they would take a charge at all. I was surprised that they started the engine and decided there was enough life in them for the refit. I will replace them before I put the boat in the water. I have pulled the power panel out now and the wiring behind it looks like a rats nest. That will be corrected.

Pblais 23-07-2007 19:20

Make a wiring diagram. If for no other reason than to save the new battery you have to buy. Plus, you'll then know what the score is. It helps if you can find someone to help sort it out but at least get a drawing of all the connections and the things connected. Poorly done quick solutions are often the root cause of a lot of problems. If you have lots of things directly connected to the battery then it's a sure sign of a job screwed up. Switches don't generally go bad but lots of things are possible.

If you can make a drawing and identify all the parts then you can post it here and we can have lots of the electrical folks go over it and help even more.

Fix the wiring before you replace the batteries. Check out how all the charging systems are set up too. It helps to take a good multi Meter to everything and readjust all the charge settings too.

clausont 24-07-2007 08:01

Makes alot of sense. I will spend some time and do that. That sounds great to have folks who are (much) more knowlegable than I go over the diagram when I do it. I do have one toggle switch that is bad for sure on the fresh water system. I have traced that one out completely already. The switch is corroded pretty badly and will not close the circuit. The others are not far behind so I will replace them all.

thedegnans 09-08-2007 11:00

Congrats on your boat. We hope to be there someday. In the mean time, we are learning how to sail.

I took a look at your picture...awsome shots. The one next to the tank-Trailor give a great reference to how big the boat is, and the one on the side of the hill was just plain scary!

Good Luck!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:07.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.